GATLINBURG (WATE) – When the wildfires happened in Sevier County last week, a lot of people asked about the Mysterious Mansion.
The fake tombstone outside reads “From ashes to ashes,” but those words became a very real fear for employees last week.
“People kept coming up and saying, ‘The mansion’s gone, the mansion’s gone, the mansion’s gone,’ and we heard all that and it just destroyed us,” said office manager Jonathan Fitch.
The fire came down the mountain behind Ripley’s Aquarium, right to the Mysterious Mansion’s backyard.
“When we saw the video, just this whole mountainside was just set ablaze, the whole side,” Fitch said.
Quick thinking and crafty workmanship saved the attraction.
“Little sprinkler heads that he had bought on PVC pipes that he had cut down that we had laying around, and we started spraying the forest, the trees, the branches, saturating the vegetation on the bottom, on all sides of the perimeter,” said Fitch.
The fire did not go past where they had wet the ground.
“It was still kind of surreal until I actually drove here on Monday, because I had seen the video and I was excited, but there’s that sense of seeing and touching you know and being like, okay you’re still here,” said Fitch.
The Mysterious Mansion only had minor damage.
“That was the main thing we had, wind damage. Because we had a couple of the pieces of the lights, they blew off so they have to all be replaced. We got leaves inside the house. We got a lot of sweeping to do, but that’s partly what we’re doing today,” Fitch said.
They’re now getting ready for a full weekend and season of scaring and entertaining guests. They Mysterious Mansion will be open for business starting Friday at noon.